Daleth is the fourth letter of the Hebrew alphabet. All the next eight verses begin with this letter corresponding to D in our alphabet. It seems that David is having a hard time and is depressed in this section of eight daleth verses.
Psalm 119.25 My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word!
There is a rather drastic portrayal David give us in the first sentence: "My soul lies in the dust", "my soul is depressed", "I lie pressed against the dust"! “I am close to death!” He is not doing well. Life is difficult. He lies prostrate in the dust and is pressed down. There is not much honour and royal reverence in this situation he is currently in.
The realism that we encounter in Psalms fascinates me. Life is not a dance on roses for any of us. Life can be difficult. Life can be wonderful and full of joy. We do not know what we will meet in the days that lie ahead. Sometimes we can stand tall and enjoy happiness. Sometimes we will be pushed down in the mud and have to strive to survive. Life can be very good, but also painful and difficult. I like the Psalms because they speak the truth about life. They show that all human feelings and experiences can be brought before God. We do not need to restrict ourselves. We do not need to try to be more devout than we are. We can tell God how we feel about what is happening in our lives. He cares about all the little details in our lives.
This first sentence in this verse can also be understood in a slightly different way than that the situation is painful and difficult. In fact, he may have had it all too good and easy in life, that he has been glued to the earthly. Maybe he has discovered that he is stuck in materialism, that the earthly dust he has pressed him down and made his soul dull? Maybe he has had prosperity and good days for so long that he has been caught in it? Maybe prosperity succeeds in stifling spiritual life? Maybe he is a prisoner of wealth, earthly honour and career? Maybe it's the business of life that pushes him into the dust?
Whatever situation we are in, the key is to pray the prayer that David prayed: "Give me life as you have said!" He asks for renewal and refreshment. He is asking for a new spiritual life. He prays that God must create change in his life and the state he is in. It does not matter what we struggle with and the challenges we are facing in life, we need new life from God. It is only God who can give life. It is only he who makes life rich and meaningful. Therefore we turn to him in prayer.
"Give me life according to your word, according to your promises, as you have said!" It is always good to be able to relate to the word and promises of God when we pray. Then we can boldly pray and wait for God to answer. When we have received a word from the Lord, whether it is a word from the Bible that has become alive to us, or there is a prophetic promise spoken to us, then we can at any time come before God and remind him of the word he has given us.
Give me life according to your word! Do with me according to your promise! Let it be as you have said! These are some of the safest prayers we can ask. Then we pray that God's plan and purpose for our lives will be fulfilled. That God will lead us from where we are, whether we are disgraceful and squeezed into the dust or trapped in the materialistic. God always wants us to have life and renewal.
Lord, I fade away. I am discouraged and lie in the dust. Renew me by your word, as you promised you would!